to liven up, to brighten up
[op-leu-ken, leuk-te op, op-ge-leukt] 

‘Leuk’ is the Dutch adjective for ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’. It’s also the Dutch adjective for ‘funny, amusing, charming, attractive, pretty’ and even ‘jolly’, but we will ignore that for now 😉

‘Opleuken’ is an example of the Dutch tendency to create verbs whenever we have a need for one; the use of ‘op’ (which can mean ‘up’) in this case indicates that an improvement is the result.

“Zo, ik zie dat jullie de woonkamer opgeleukt hebben, gezellig hoor!” 
(“Hey, I see you (guys) have livened up the living room, really nice!”)

“Ik geef een feestje komend weekend, wil je me helpen om de boel een beetje op te leuken?” 
(“I’m throwing a party this weekend, will you help me brighten things up?”)

“Mijn kantoor is niet bepaald een warme omgeving.” – “Kun je het niet met wat planten opleuken?” 
(“My office is not really a warm environment.” – “Can’t you liven it up with a few plants?” Note that ‘kantoor’ in Dutch can mean both office (room) and office building.)

“Ik heb het helemaal niet naar mijn zin in mijn nieuwe huis; ik vind het er maar kil!” – “Niet zo zeuren, kom op zeg, leuk het een beetje op en dan valt het heus wel mee!” 
(“I don’t feel good at all in my new house; I think it’s rather bleak!” – “Stop whining, come on, liven it up a bit and it won’t be all that bad!”)

– “Het gezellig maken”: to (physically) improve the atmosphere, to make it more pleasant / cosier.

“O, wat heb je het hier gezellig gemaakt! En dat ondanks de grote ruimte!”
(“Oh, you have created such a nice atmosphere here! And that despite the big space!”).

Related words:
Leuk: nice, pleasant [adjective].
– Gezellig: pleasant, enjoyable, nice, fun, good atmosphere, cosy [adjective/adverb].
Verbeteren: to improve [verb] [verbeterde, verbeterd].
– Mooi maken: to beautify, to adorn, to pretty up [verb] [maakte mooi, mooi gemaakt].

6 thoughts on “Opleuken

  1. Dankjewel!
    It is not yet the best solution because the random button can also return other (non DWOTD) posts but for now it will do 🙂

  2. Also, in a perfect solution the button would appear on every page (not just the main page), so you could click on it again and again, jumping from random post to random post. but i don’t want to “zeuren”. i’m really glad to see this implemented, it’s a great opportunity to discover random 🙂 words!

    • Hi Max – indeed; actually I have a general improvement planned to always show the sidebar next to a specific DWOTD post.

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